Growing Smart Urban Forests (GSUF)

by Swinburne University of Technology
Growing Smart Urban Forests (GSUF)
Growing Smart Urban Forests (GSUF)
Growing Smart Urban Forests (GSUF)
Growing Smart Urban Forests (GSUF)
Growing Smart Urban Forests (GSUF)
Growing Smart Urban Forests (GSUF)


We all love trees but maybe not for the reasons we should. Urban forests are critical for keeping cities liveable and providing essential cooling. GSUF enables residents to connect and become local activists for the trees in their area through a digital media platform. Residents can adopt and 'talk' to trees through a mobile app or website, with the trees telling them (in real time!) what they need today. GSUF brings trees to life, empowering locals to care for and create smart urban forests.

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Around the world, heat causes more deaths every year than all other natural disasters combined and many of these occur in cities. This is only set to increase as global warming continues to wreak havoc. As city living becomes the norm and green space is sacrificed to ever expanding concrete towers, we need sustainable solutions to keep our cities cool. Hotter cities equal more power consumption, health problems, and power restrictions such as black and brown outs.


The best way to help our cities is by helping our urban forests flourish. GSUF empowers residents to become advocates and active participants in their management and protection. GSUF will pilot in a community park in Melbourne. Trees will be installed with small devices to provide real time data about water usage and stress. Residents will be able to 'talk' to their trees through a mobile app or website, with the trees responding in real time to tell us what they need.

Long-Term Impact

GSUF can improve the lives of billions of urban residents worldwide. Locally, as residents come to feel ownership of and responsibility for their trees, this will positively reverberate throughout the community, encouraging other residents and their families to get involved. We look forward to reducing heat related illnesses and deaths; improving urban air quality; habitat creation for stressed animals; offsetting climate change; and improving the physical and mental health of urban residents.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


Organization Information

Swinburne University of Technology

Location: Melbourne - Australia
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Swinburne
Swinburne University of Technology
Scott Rayburg
Project Leader:
Scott Rayburg
Melbourne, Victoria Australia

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